HTC's One is finally headed to Verizon, but will anyone care?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
If there is anything that we should be used to when dealing with major companies, any company in fact, it's that at any point in time they could be telling you one thing while meaning something entirely different. There are more reasons for this to happen than I could ever hope to count, but the truth is that it's never any fun. For some reason, we still take companies at their word, at least at face value, when they give a response to a direct question. Which can lead someone to purchase something else, simply because they've heard that what they really want isn't coming to one carrier or another.
This is something that the mobile industry deals with constantly. When a new flagship device is unveiled, unless it's from Samsung, the immediate question is, "Which carrier is it going to?" Exclusivity isn't a new thing to the wireless industry, and it's obviously not going anywhere anytime soon, even if it does cause more headaches than anything else. Especially for subscribers.
Anna asked all of you not too long ago if you've ever left your carrier to get a particular phone, and the responses were pretty varied. Some of you choose your carrier first, and then find the phone that suits you best. Others, though, prefer to use the carrier that offers up the best devices (in their opinion), so switching carriers to have the "best of the best" isn't completely out of the question.
I can understand where someone with that mentality would be coming from when it comes to certain devices. Most recently HTC's One, in my opinion, is a device that if you left Verizon to fall under Sprint's, AT&T's, or T-Mobile's carrier umbrella to get your hands on it, I wouldn't think you were crazy. Moreover, if you were upset with Verizon's outright denial of the One's impending launch on the Big Red network, that would make sense to me, too.
But, as I said above, the reasons these companies have to deny future plans, even if they're being discussed or already set in stone, are numerous, and it's just a truth that we have to live with. It's like these companies don't expect us to jump on a new phone's release or something. What, are we supposed to have patience?
In case you missed the news, and you're wondering why I'm talking about company doublespeak, it turns out HTC's One is indeed coming to Verizon after all. Sure, there had been plenty of rumor and speculation, and for some people that may have been enough to just assume right off the bat that the device would indeed launch on the carrier eventually. But, you wouldn't be faulted for listening to Verizon's denials.
So, the One is coming. When, you may ask? Sometime "later this summer." Yeah, no specific dates yet, and no word on pricing. Basically, Verizon's just confirmed the rumors, and did a complete one eighty on their previous statements regarding the device's upcoming availability. If you've been waiting for Verizon to launch the One, then you'll be waiting a bit longer. If you left Verizon to get your hands on the One, because you thought Verizon wasn't launching the One, well…
Unfortunately, I just don't think anyone will be thinking about the One later this summer. Sure, it will see some sales, unless Verizon and HTC somehow manage to ruin the experience some how, but for the most part all eyes will be on other devices. Later this summer equals a new iPhone. Later this summer equals a new Galaxy Note from Samsung. Later this year we've even got the Moto X (if you can wait until around October)!
So while HTC and Verizon will be working to launch a five month old device (I'm picturing a July launch for that time frame), most people will be already gobbling up even more rumors and speculation about what's really new from Apple and Samsung.
And, what about HTC? We're already hearing stories about the T6, the huge upcoming flagship device that may or may not exist at this point, and which would more than likely come out later this year. Unless that particular device just drops off the map entirely, then I can't see a lot of attention being given to the Verizon-branded One when it finally lands on store shelves.
Is it too late for a Verizon One? Maybe. Will it be too late for a Verizon One in July? Probably. It will be interesting, though, to see how it fares against the competition, and how tepid sales might be due to new phones coming down the pipe soon after the Verizon One's launch.
So tell me where you stand. If you're on Verizon right now and you've been stubbornly holding out for a One launch, are you still going to be willing to buy the device "later this summer," even as talk about the next iPhone, or Samsung's next Galaxy Note, picks up? Did you happen to leave Verizon to get a One on another carrier? Or, are you sticking it out as long as possible to make HTC's flagship device your next handset on Verizon's network, no matter what? Let me know!